Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Strategy of Jesus

A good friend introduced me to this quote from Elton Trueblood. It is what I long for, what I spend so much of the day dreaming about. Deep down in my heart these are the words that I have not been able to express:

The Strategy of Jesus
There is no person in history who has impacted all of mankind more than Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus was deeply concerned for the continuation of his redemptive work after the close of his earthly existence, and his chosen method was a formation of a small band of committed friends. He did not form an army, establish a headquarters, or even write a book. What he did was collect a few very common men and women, inspire them with the sense of the spirit and vision, and build their lives into an intensive fellowship of affection, worship, and work.
One of the truly shocking passages of the gospel is that in which Jesus indicated that there is absolutely no substitute for the tiny, loving, caring, reconciling society. If this fails, he suggests, all is a failure; there is no other way. He told the little bedraggled fellowship that they were actually the salt of the earth and that if this salt should fail there would be no adequate preservation at all. He was staking it all on one throw.
What we need is not intellectual theorizing or even preaching, but a demonstration. One of the most powerful ways of turning people's loyalty to Christ is by loving others with the great love of God. We cannot revive faith by argument, but we might catch the imagination of puzzled men and women by an exhibition of a fellowship so intensely alive that every thoughtful person would be forced to respect it.
If there should emerge in our day such a fellowship, wholly without being artificial and free form the dead hand of importance. A society of genuine loving friends, set free from self-seeking struggle for personal prestige and from all unreality, would be something unutterably priceless and powerful. A wise person would travel any distance to join it.
(excerpts from Elton Trueblood)

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